Constitution and By-Laws of the Mohawk Base Ball Club, of the City of Brooklyn, N.Y.

New York: W. A. Clayton, Printer and Bookbinder, 105 Maiden Lane, (1867).

Price: $9,500.00

Softcover. First edition. 16mo. Stitched sheets. [4], 12pp. Small errata slip laid in, correcting an omission to the fourth part of Article II, Section Four of the Constitution. Old tidelines along right margin, extending partly into the text, but all legible.

The small pamphlet is accompanied by a 1946 letter (measuring 8¾” x 11”, creased from folding, approximately 120 words), from C. W. Fancher of Wyckoff, N.J. Fancher offers for sale a sepia picture of the Brooklyn Dodgers Base Ball Club and an 1865 certificate of membership in the National Association of Base Ball Players (neither present here) to a Mrs. Blair (presumably Natalie Knowlton Blair (1887-1951), a well-known collector of Americana). He states: "I also have the little book of rules that goes with the picture," and on the verso he has sketched a pencil drawing of the title page and noted: "The little book is in splendid condition and worth more than I ask for the picture."

The constitution and by-laws laid out for the club included a list of fines for various offenses by club members, including "for rude, ungentlemanly, or discourteous language, manners or conduct at any meeting, game or reception of the Club, not more than one ($1.00) dollar for each offence." The designated "Nines" were to be prepared to play the games for which they were selected, and to be on time or face a fine. The team uniform was to be "a blue cap with the letter 'M' within a white star on top, a white jacket, and blue pants with white cord."

Baseball increased in popularity throughout the 1850s, though it continued to be an 'amateur' sport for the next few years. According to Harold Seymour's *Baseball: The Early Years* (New York, 1960): "Unquestionably, baseball was spreading rapidly in the New York area. In 1856 'Porter's Spirit of the Times' said that every available green plot within ten miles of the city was being used as a playing field. Brooklyn, already the 'city of churches,' was fast becoming the 'city of baseball clubs'... (p.24)." In 1867, the 10th Annual Convention of the National Association of Base Ball Players was held in Clinton, New York. Among the list of attendees were the Hon. A.C. Davis and A.C. Smith, both of the Mohawk Base Ball Club.

A March 1917 article published in the *Brooklyn Daily Eagle* provides some history of the Mohawk Base Ball Club: “On the Mohawk Club the late William C. Hudson, formerly of The Brooklyn Eagle, alternately played shortstop and pitched.... Left to right: Abe Silleck, first base; Sam Delisser, shortstop; A. Steiner, left field; Jacob Steiner, right field; Eugene, captain; Kelly, pitcher; Wash Weeks, catcher; William Forker, second base; Chauncey Ryder, center field. F. O'Connor, third base... . In 1867 ... O'Connor [State Senator Eugene F. O'Connor] became captain of the Mohawk Club of Brooklyn, which made the famous first 'shut-out' on the Fourth of July, in that year, in a game with the Earnests of Riverhead. L. I., the score being 62 to 0, in nine innings. Not an error was made in this game." The article included an interview with O'Connor where he reminisced about the club: "We played baseball in those days for the glory of it. None of us got a dollar for our services. We even bought our own uniforms and combined to buy our bats and balls. In the good old days we were up at daybreak practicing the game out at our grounds on Carroll Park, or on Fifth Avenue, before we had our breakfast or before going to business. Our team never lost a day from work, playing on Saturdays and holidays only, and we averaged about twelve match games a season. The Mohawks were no mean club and contested with such crack teams as the Atlantics, the Mutuals, the Athletics and the Eckfords." Hudson, Silleck, Steiner, O'Connor and Forker all are listed in this pamphlet as members of the Mohawk Base Ball Club. Officers and committee members for the year 1867 are listed on an early page, and include A.C. Davis, President, E.W. Crittenden, First Vice President, Wm. Shipman, Second Vice President, and A.C. Smith, Third Vice President. The pamphlet's printer, W.A. Clayton, appears as both the treasurer and a member of the club's finance committee.

Rare. Not in Grobani, or Smith's *Baseball: A Comprehensive Bibliography. OCLC* records no copies. No copies at auction.


Item #412718

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Constitution and By-Laws of the Mohawk Base Ball Club, of the City of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Constitution and By-Laws of the Mohawk Base Ball Club, of the City of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Constitution and By-Laws of the Mohawk Base Ball Club, of the City of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Constitution and By-Laws of the Mohawk Base Ball Club, of the City of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Constitution and By-Laws of the Mohawk Base Ball Club, of the City of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Constitution and By-Laws of the Mohawk Base Ball Club, of the City of Brooklyn, N.Y.